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Lebanon, Qatar Sign Deal for Gas Exploration in Blocks 4 And 9
By Staff, Agencies
Lebanon, two international oil giants and state-owned oil and gas company Qatar Energy signed an agreement Sunday for the Qatari firm to join a consortium that will search for gas in the Mediterranean Sea off Lebanon's coast.
The deal inked in Beirut brings Qatar into Lebanon's gas exploration market three months after Lebanon finalized a US-mediated process for the delimitation of its maritime boundaries, ending a yearslong dispute in face of the Zionist occupation regime. Qatar Energy is replacing a Russian company that withdrew from the Lebanese market in September.
In 2017, Lebanon approved licenses for an international consortium including France's TotalEnergies, Italy's ENI and Russia's Novatek to move forward with offshore oil and gas development for two of 10 blocks in the Mediterranean. The borders of one of the two blocks were disputed by the ‘Israeli’ occupation regime until the process was finalized last year.
The companies did not find viable amounts of oil or gas in block No. 4 north of Beirut, and drilling in block No. 9 in the south has been repeatedly postponed because of the dispute with the ‘Israeli’ occupation entity.
The agreement was signed by Saad Sherida al-Kaabi, Qatar's Energy Minister; his Lebanese counterpart Walid Fayyad; Claudio Descalzi, the CEO of Italy's state-run energy company, ENI, and TotalEnergies CEO Patrick Pouyanné. The signing ceremony was attended by Lebanon's caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati.
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